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Japanese Gash Bell vs Dubbed Zatch Bell

Based on the popular Shounen Sunday manga series by Makoto Raiku, Konjiki no Gash Bell was eventually made into an 150 episode anime series in April 2003. It was finally brough to the US under the name Zatch Bell and aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami in March 2005. But like most anime on American TV, it's marketed as a "kids' show." But luckily for Zatch and his pals, their dubbing fell to the care of Viz, rather than the much less competent 4Kids'. Personally I think Zatch Bell has one of the best "kids' show" dubs there is; it's not perfect but it's definitely not a hack-job like One Piece. But of course it has its share of edits, so if you've only seen the Zatch Bell dub and are curious as to what's changed in it, I've covered the dub's general edits below. Enjoy!


Most of the violence in the original version is left in the dub, but all blood is removed. No big surprise there I guess. But what kills me is that the same kids that watch Zatch Bell and One Piece also watch Naruto, and yet only Naruto doesn't edit things like blood, talk of "death" and "killing," etc,. ~_^


Guns are a funny thing in the Zatch Bell dub. The folks at Viz usually keep them intact, but they're rather inconsistent on how they edit them. I think the first gun that ever appeared in the dub had its details edited to look less menacing. And yet in a later episode(the "Danny Boy" episode"), there were a ton of guns shown and they all looked like guns, without any edits! Even the flying bullets were left in(plus the bullets that went into Danny!), as well as a gun-to-head view! But then, in another episode, guns were edited to have a glowy, "kryptonite" green around them to mask their details. So obviously Viz can't agree on one way to edit or not edit guns. But even if guns are shown, any mention of actual "killing" or "death" is changed. For example, if you've seen the episode that the picture above is from, in the original version that old guy wanted to kill the bear because it killed his family(that's a real gun he's got there, not a "dart gun.") Again, killing is a big no-no, so Viz changed it to "the bear hurt his family and they're in the hospital and he wants to tranquilize the bear and relocate it."

Gash in the nude! 0_o

Yup, in the original version, our little hero likes to walk around in the buff from time to time, especially when he's fishing for yellowtail ^^,,,(actually, he was naked for much of the very first episode.) Naturally Viz has to give Zatch underwear or something similar to cover up with, LOL.

Folgore's, ummm..., song

I'm not kidding about this the original version, Folgore's ever popular theme song is called "Grope the Breast"("Chichi o Moge") and that's just what it's about: groping breasts! 0_0 (the dub changes it to a song about how great and cool Folgore is.) But just to give you an idea of how frighteningly bizarre the Japanese song is, here's some of the lyrics:


Chichi chichi oppai!
Breasts, breasts, and boobs!

Boing! Boing!

Chichi chichi oppai!
Breasts, breasts, and boobs!

Moge, moge, moge!
Grope, grope, grope!

Chichi o Moge!
Grope the breasts!

Manmaru chichi
Perfect round breasts

Sankaku oppai
Triangular boobs

Rocket Boing!

Pretty scary, huh? And you thought Folgore was weird in the dub...

"Meru-meru-meeeeeru!" (^oo^)

Ponygon's voice is changed in the dub(not sure why), but it still sounds pretty similar, just a bit lower than in the Japanese version. If you want to hear a sample of what he sounds like in the original, click here. Also, his name is changed in the dub; his original name is "Umagon"("uma" means "horse.") Other character name changes are "Gash" to "Zatch," "Kiyomaro" to "Kiyo," "Suzume" to "Susie," and "Tio" to "Tia."

There really isn't too much else to report about changes in the Zatch Bell dub. Unlike 4Kids' dub of One Piece, in which nearly every line of dialogue is changed, and episodes are skipped, spliced, and heavily edited, unless episodes of Zatch Bell feature the edits that I mentioned above, they're pretty much faithful to the original. Viz actually makes an attempt to translate rather than rewrite(even going so far as to keep the show's Japanese-ness by leaving a lot of Japanese writing in and translating on-screen text) and the dub voices are fairly good too. They even leave some of the original music and moments of silence intact(though they definitely could've done a better job on the English opening song XP) But the Japanese version is better of course, so if you're interested in downloading fansubbed episodes, Anime-Destiny is the site to go to. But anyway, to sum it all up, although Viz has to comply to TV censorship, they've done a decent job with the Zatch Bell dub. They could definitely teach 4Kids' a thing or two ^_^V

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